A good rabbit pellet is made from a base of hay mixed with other ingredients found in plants and grains. A quality rabbit pellet will not have chunks or colors. A healthy rabbit pellet should be a neutral color and should be uniform in appearance.
What Ingredients Should be in A Quality Rabbit Pellet? A Quality Rabbit Pellet Contains a Base of Either Timothy Hay or Alfalfa Hay, Which Should be Fed to Your Rabbit Dependent on Their Age. A Good Rabbit Pellet Will Only Contain Hay and Herbs. If a Hay Contains Whole Dried Fruit, Seeds, or Nuts, this is Not a Healthy Rabbit Pellet. There Should be No Obvious Colors, It Should Look Very Bland. When Looking at Rabbit Pellets, You Should Look at the Guaranteed Analysis on the Label to Learn How Many Critical Ingredients are in the Formula. This is Usually Calculated by Percentage. What Specific Groups and Ingredients can Rabbit Pellets be Made Of?
|Animal Products (Should not be in rabbit feed).||Bone meal, blood meal, fish meal, feathers.|
|Animal protein products (Should not be found in rabbit feed).||Hydrolyzed poultry feathers, fish meal, milk products, and other items which are not natural to a rabbit’s digestive tract.|
|Forage products||Alfalfa meal, grass hay, soybean hay, lespedeza meal, dehydrated silages.|
|Grain products||Barley, oats, wheat, corn, rice, rye.|
|Molasses products||Beet or sugar cane molasses, beet pulp.|
|Processed grain byproducts||Wheat millings, corn, gluten feed, rice bran, wheat bran, brewers’ dried grains, distilled dried grains.|
|Plant protein products||Cottonseed, soybean, canola, peanut, linseed and sunflower meals, cultured yeast.|
|Roughage products||Hulls of cottonseed, soybeans, oats, peanuts, rice; apple products, beet pulp, citrus pulp.|
|Specific Ingredient||What is It?|
|Acetic Acid||Mold inhibitor|
|Ammonium Hydroxide||Mold inhibitor|
|Ascorbic Acid||Source of Vitamin C|
|Beet Pulp||Fibrous material left over after |
the sugar is extracted from sugar beets.
An energy concentrate high in highly
digestible fiber, pectin’s, and sugars.
|Benzoic Acid||Mold inhibitor|
|Calcium Carbonate or Limestone||Calcium ingredient|
|Calcium Propionate||Mold inhibitor|
|Canola Meal||Produced from canola seed |
following oil extraction. Protein ingredient.
|Choline Chloride||Choline, or vitamin B4.|
|Citric Acid||Preservative. Also, a growth |
and immunity promoter.
|Corn Gluten Meal||Added for palatability|
|Lignin Sulfonate|| A by-product from making paper. |
Used as a pellet binder.
|Non-Dietary Nitrogen (NDN)|| Should not be found in rabbit food. |
Rabbits do not utilize NDNs well
and can cause toxicity.
|Magnesium Oxide||Magnesium ingredient|
|Mixed Tocopherols|| Source of Vitamin E. They are |
antioxidants found in nature and
are used in fats, oils, and in a wide
range of fat-containing food and
feed products and contain natural
mixtures of d-alpha, beta, gamma,
and delta tocopherols.
|Molasses or Cane Molasses|| Added for palatability and |
as a binder. High in magnesium.
|Monosodium Phosphate||Phosphate ingredient|
|Oat Mill By-Product|| Brans or middlings. Obtained |
after the transformation of groats
into oatmeal. High in indigestible
fiber with low protein.
|Propionic Acid||Mold inhibitor|
|Rosemary Extract||Natural antioxidant|
|Safflower Meal||Protein ingredient|
|Safflower Oil||Added for palatability|
|Sodium Bentonite|| Pellet binder. A clay mineral |
often used as cat litter.
|Sodium Lignosulfonate||Pellet binder|
|Sorbic Acid||Mold inhibitor|
|Soybean Hulls|| Fiber ingredient. Cheaper and |
contains more fiber than Timothy hay.
|Soybean Meal|| A by-product of the extraction of |
soybean oil. Protein ingredient.
|Timothy Hay Meal|| Ground up Timothy hay. |
Makes the hay more digestible
without sacrificing long-stem fiber.
|Wheat Middlings|| Granular by-product of grain |
milling. High in digestible fiber
and have energy levels similar
to corn. Cheap source of carbohydrates.
|Yeast cell wall extract|| Prebiotic rich in mannan sugar |
moieties of long chain
known as mannanoligosaccharides
|Yucca|| Helps control ammonia |
in rabbit waste and aids in fat
digestion in the small intestine.
What Should the Nutritional Content of a Rabbit Pellet Look Like? We Know What Ingredients Can Possibly Be in a Rabbit Pellet, and We Know What a Quality Pellet Should Look Like. What Balance of Nutrients Should Exist in a Healthy Rabbit Pellet Though? Well, it is Recommended That a Quality Rabbit Pellet Have A Good Balance of Crude Fiber, Protein, Fat, and Calcium. It is Essential that A Rabbit Has all of these Important Resources in their Diet in Order to Maintain a Healthy Digestive System. Here is a Breakdown of the Percentages of Each Resource Your Rabbit Should Have in Their Pellet:
|What is It?||How Much Should Your Rabbit Get? (%)|
|Crude Fiber||At least 22%|
|Protein||No more than 14%|
Should Your Rabbit Eat a Lot of Pellets in Their Diet? While Pellets Can be an Easier Way to Make Sure a Rabbit is Getting All the Necessary Nutrients in their Diet, it is By No Means Recommended to be the Majority of a Rabbit’s Diet. It is Actually Possible to Feed a Rabbit A Diet with No Pellets. A Rabbit’s Diet Should be Mostly Hay, With Plenty of Greens as Well. Should You Choose to Feed Your Rabbit Pellets, They Should be High-Quality Pellets, and Should be Used Sparingly, With Most of the Diet Consisting of Hay.
While pellets can be a healthy choice if used in the right amount, the correct kind must be chosen. If the correct formula and ingredients are not chosen this may result in gastrointestinal discomfort for the rabbit. The proper balance of nutritional resources must also be available in a pellet in order for it to be considered suitable for a rabbit. Plenty of hay and greens must be provided along with the pellets in order to provide your rabbit with a well-balanced diet.
Choosing a pellet which will be healthy for your rabbit does not have to be difficult. Pay attention to the color, shape, and composition of the pellet mix. With great care and attention to detail, you should be able to find a diet which will work and provide a healthy balance for all your rabbit’s nutritional needs.